Walking up to the start corral I was shaking with nerves, the sea of brightly colored runners daunting. I climbed over the rope and said greeted the runners around me (I babble when I'm nervous). The gun sounded and we shuffled forward as a group waiting for the crowd to scatter a little before picking up pace.
Did I mention how hot it was? By the time I hit the 2.5 mile water station I was parched! But, I kept going, listening to the pounding of feet all around me. The experience was unreal - people on the side lines were cheering, spraying runners with personal hoses, handing out water soaked sponges and ice chips, candy and raisins. I saw several signs along the route cheering people on, there was one lady about mile 5 who had a sign declaring "free hugs" and I needed one, so I stopped to hug her and cried a little. I shed tears a couple times when complete strangers called out my name and shouted encouragement.
Coming around the final corner I could hear names of runners being called as they crossed the finish line and it seemed so far away, I could see anxious faces awaiting their family and friends, and I wanted my family. I kept going.
Hearing my name comping over the speaker announcing that I had indeed do it, made me spill a few more tears. Having a finisher's medal placed around my neck and hearing "good job" stopped the tear and elicited the biggest smile possible. I did it!
it took me 2.14 hours but I DID IT! and will do it again :)
*up next - Commander Gander! and possibly the Huffin Puffin